Getting the best-used car has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with using strong research and investigative abilities. Learning how to spot potential problems and determining how trustworthy a used car is might help you avoid future expensive car problems.

At Aaron CDJR, we offer top-notch, thoroughly inspected used cars that have been certified. Even though there's nothing to worry about, it's always safe to know what to look for, for yourself when getting a used car since cars are a huge investment (especially in this economy). Read on ahead to find out more about what you should keep an eye out for when buying a used car.

Reading The Window Sticker

A Buyers Guide must be displayed by dealers in every used car they are selling, according to the Federal Trade Commission. It must include specific information, such as whether the car is being sold "as is" or with a warranty and what portion of repair costs (if any) the dealer is required to cover. It is typically attached to a window. Any conflicting clauses in your sales contract are superseded by the guide material. In other words, the dealer must uphold the guarantee if the manual specifies that it is applicable to the car. Before the sale, the guide must be updated to reflect any coverage modifications that are agreed upon.

When a sale is marked "as is," it indicates the dealer offers no warranties on the state of the car, so any issues that develop after you buy it will be your responsibility. Many states prohibit as-is sales of vehicles that sell for more than a specific amount.

Thorough Inspection

No matter who you get your car from, be sure to examine it carefully and have a mechanic give it a thorough inspection. Wear old clothes that you don't mind getting dirty, and thoroughly check the car.

Due to the ability of floodlights to obscure body faults and make vehicles appear sparkling, conduct your inspection during the day on a dry day. Before your inspection, the car should have been parked on a level surface for at least an hour without being driven.

Inspecting The Exterior

-Condition Of The Vehicle

Check for dents, scratches, and rust on each panel as well as the roof. Watch out for panels that are misaligned or have large gaps, as these indications may lead to shoddy manufacturing or inadequate upkeep. The paint and finish should be the same on every body panel.

If you think the dent has been repaired, place a little magnet on it. A body filler-filled area won't allow the magnet to stick. If other parts of the car have been painted again, the paint may be stuck to the rubber seals that surround the hood and trunk lid.

It is harmful, so look for blistered paint or evident corrosion on the body. Check the wheel wells, door panels beneath, and door bottoms.


Even though it might not be of worry, you should bring up a minor stone chip during negotiations. However, windshield cracks will widen and cost a lot to fix.


By walking around the vehicle, you can check whether or not it's leveled and has proper suspension. Instead of bouncing back and forth, the car should just rebound once if the shock absorbers are working properly. With your hands, move them back and forth across the top of each front tire. Wheel bearings or suspension joints may be worn out if you feel in them or hear a clunking sound.


Ask a friend to check that all the lights are on. Check to make sure that all of the light lenses and reflectors are intact and not cracked, damp, or missing.

Inspecting The Interior

-The Sniff Test

Smell the inside of the car when you first open the door. A musty, moldy, or mildew odor can be a sign of water leakage. Check the carpet for any moist areas after removing the floor mats. An unpleasant odor could be a sign that a smoker utilized the vehicle. Look for evidence in the lighter and ashtray (if provided). Mold and smoke odors, for example, can be very difficult to get rid of.

-Controls And Vehicle Components

Without starting the engine, turn on the ignition. Ensure that when you start the engine, all warning lights, including the check engine light, illuminate briefly before turning off. Keep track of whether the engine sputters when cold and whether it idles smoothly. Then, test each lever, button, and switch.


Ones that are "maintenance-free" include a charge indicator in some models: Green often indicates a healthy battery, while yellow or black typically indicates a failing one. These only provide information about a single cell and may not provide a reliable assessment of the battery's overall health. In order to check the liquid level if the battery has filler caps, clean the top of the battery with a rag and then carefully pry off or unscrew the caps. If the level is low, the battery might have been working too hard. Any qualified mechanic can examine the charging system and perform a battery load test.


The engine should be cool when doing these inspections. Examine the engine bay's overall condition first. Dust and dirt are common, but if you see any oil spilled on the ground or on the pavement below, be cautious. Be on the lookout for loose wires and hoses, as well as a battery that has rust on it.

To check all fluid levels, refer to the owner's manual for directions. While not being grit, engine oil should be dark brown or black. The oil was just changed if it had a honey color. The presence of water droplets or grey or foamy oil on the dipstick could be an indication of an engine block crack or a blown head gasket, both of which are serious issues.

You get only the greatest service at Aaron CDJR. So don't be hesitant. Now that you know everything there is to know about getting a used car, contact us or stop by the showroom to see for yourself!

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